I recently came across the following TED talk and wanted to by Lara Boyd, an expert on neurobiology.
Neuroplasiticity, or the elasticity of the brain, has always fascinated me. I was never taught it at school, but it was something my Dad believed (and still believes in) strongly, and after I was exposed to Professor Carol Dweck’s research on mindset while I was at Stanford, I was hooked. It’s harder to put it into practice, but the theory makes complete sense to me. All of us, English learners or otherwise can be empowered by the simple fact that when we believe in ourselves, challenge ourselves, and learn from it, our brain grows physically, making us more likely to make stronger neural connections and learn even more. While at San Mateo Foster City School District, I made sure that Growth Mindset was a concept my students understood. We read child-friendly picture books together, such as Rosie Revere, Engineer and How to Catch a Star. We talked about the main idea and made connections in our lives, while expressing ourselves in grammatically correct English. So many English learners mistakenly believe that they are less smart simply because they cannot process or produce English well. As parents and teachers, it is our duty to teach children that nothing could be further from the truth.